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Distance learning tips to keep students engaged

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit America in 2020, many parents found themselves having to navigate distance learning for the first time ever. Many had to juggle the challenges of working from home while managing online learning for their kids. Just finding basic order and structure on a day-to-day basis can be difficult, but ensuring your kids stay engaged through the process may be a whole new feat as you approach another year of homeschooling. Between short attention spans and limited supervision, it's easy for students to lose interest in their studies or even fall behind. However, with a little bit of planning, creativity and support, you can master distance learning. Here are a few homeschooling tips to help keep your kids stimulated and academically focused.  

Create a designated study space

Create a designated study space

Living, working and learning in the same space can get messy quickly, which can lead to frustrated students and parents alike. Finding a way to separate studying space from the rest of the house can help keep things in order. Create a designated study space where your students can take their virtual classes, do their work and organize their school supplies. Their study space should include:


  • Basic school supplies: Pens, paper, books – all the supplies they need to complete their work should be kept in one spot so they’re not having to search for supplies. Use storage bins to keep everything organized and check supplies weekly to avoid last-minute trips to the store.
  • A faster internet connection: When the internet is slow, minds will wonder. A strong and consistent internet connection will help create the best online learning experience for your kids without interruption. If your wifi isn’t cutting it, try upgrading to a whole home wifi system for better coverage and faster speeds. Cox customers can upgrade to panoramic wifi for a consistent connection throughout the house.
  • Comfortable equipment: Sitting still can be difficult for some kids. A study space with ergonomically correct equipment can help keep them comfortable and may even allow them to sit for longer periods of time so they don’t wander to other areas of the home.  

Follow a daily online learning schedule

While flexibility is one of the greatest benefits of distance learning, not having a basic structure to follow can lead to chaos. Maintaining a daily routine, similar to if school was still in session, can help keep things on track. Try including activities that would normally be part of a school day, such as:


  • Setting an alarm: While there isn’t a morning commute, getting your kids up at the same time every morning can help get them in a school-ready mindset.
  • Getting dressed: It may be tempting to just let them roll out of bed and get straight to class work, but having them go through the motions of getting ready for school can help prepare kids for the day, and even life.
  • Coordinating class time: Create your own lesson plan so your students know what they should be working on every day. Assign material, set due dates and print out the schedule at the start of every week.
  • Scheduling breaks: All work and no play can lead to a lot of pent-up energy. Schedule breaks for snacks, exercise and fresh air. Taking mental breaks can help increase productivity when it’s time to work.

Find educational remote learning activities

Find educational remote learning activities

A big portion of distance learning is taught online. With so many hours spent staring at a digital screen, creating teachable moments offline is important too. Learning new skills, interacting with other students and playtime are all a big part of a kid’s education. Just because they’re not going to school doesn’t mean they have to miss out on these experiences. Here are some educational activities you can explore together:


  • Play board games: Games like Monopoly and chess can teach your kids about strategy and challenge them mentally without it feeling like work.
  • Cooking and baking lessons: Think of this as a yummy chemistry lab where your kids can learn how to take appropriate measurements and make dinner for the family.
  • Complete daily chores: Chores are an important aspect of learning responsibility and how things work. Take time to teach them how to use equipment like the laundry machine and oven.
  • Visit a farmer’s market: Teach your students about the importance of shopping local and weave in a little economics and environmental lessons while on a fun field trip.
  • Garden: Science is all about finding out how things work. Buy some seeds and help your kids get started with a live science experience in your garden.
  • Create different art projects: Art is a great outlet for creativity and self-expression. Explore different art projects and help your kids find their hidden talent.

Start a homeschooling support group

They say it takes a village – if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of homeschooling, chances are other parents are experiencing the same thing. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support. Connect with other parents in your area or start a virtual group to share resources and chat about challenges. The more you learn the better your kids will too.

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